Cyprus Shipping deputy ministry establishes new maritime entity to simplify operations for shipowners


( The Cyprus Shipping Deputy Ministry (SDM) has enacted the “Shipping Limited Liability Company (S.L.L.C.) Law of 2022”, which was ratified by Cyprus Parliament on 6 October 2022. The new legislation aims to simplify the procedures and operating regime of Cypriot shipping companies that own Cyprus ships, while safeguarding the competitiveness of the Cyprus flag in international shipping.

In 2021, the SDM launched SEAChange 2030 - a long-term strategic vision for shipping that is designed to compound Cyprus’ influential role in leading positive change for global shipping and maintain the country’s status as a leading maritime hub. In line with the strategy, the establishment of this entity fulfils Action 14 of the strategy, which falls under the “sustainable” pillar of the initiative. This initiative reflects the SDM’s commitment to providing a responsive, fast, efficient, and seamless customer-orientated service.

To this end, the legislation aims to create a new type of corporate entity called a ‘Shipping Limited Liability Company’ (S.L.L.C), which will be established as a limited liability company with the sole purpose of owning and operating Cypriot ships. The law will regulate issues relating to S.L.L.C.’s – from their establishment, to liquidation.

A Registry of S.L.L.C. has also been created, to be supervised by the Cyprus SDM. The Permanent Secretary of the Shipping Deputy Ministry (who by law is also the Registrar of Cyprus Ships) will act as Registrar of S.L.L.C..

The S.L.L.C. Law has been largely inspired by the basic provisions of the Companies Law, Cap.113. To make the S.L.L.C. more flexible and attractive, it includes measures designed to simplify various aspects of companies overseen by the entity, as well as streamlining operational processes. Shipping companies that own Cyprus ships already registered in the Register of the Registrar of Companies may, under specific conditions, apply for the transfer of such companies to the Register of S.L.L.C.

In practice, this will result in the creation of a one-stop-shop framework in the SDM, which will have a positive impact on the competitiveness of services offered by the Ministry. Shipowners and operators will be able to access all services under one framework which will simplify operations.

Commenting on the new legislation, Vassilios Demetriades, Cyprus Shipping Deputy Minister said: “The Cyprus Shipping Deputy Ministry is continuously improving the effective, efficient, and quality service it provides to the maritime industry. This legislation marks a watershed moment in the ministry’s ongoing efforts to maintain the sustainability of Cypriot shipping and the fulfilment of a key commitment made in our SEAChange 2030 strategy.

“It is an important step in the formulation of a one-stop shipping shop, provided by the Cyprus Shipping Deputy Ministry. Through this initiative, we are recognizing what the industry expects from a model, efficient, and responsive maritime administration. This reflects the ministry's continued provision of the efficient service and simplified procedures that the shipping industry has come to expect. Cyprus has a strong maritime infrastructure, and it is crucial that we continue to evolve and adapt to enable positive progress in this rapidly changing industry.”

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